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Car Craft Automotive News - 'Straight Scoop

By Tori Tellem, Photography by Drew Hardin, Courtesy Geico, Courtesy Mattel, LCPL Cory Yenter, USMC Department Of Defense

1968 is the new 2008.>

Dodge Challenger Drag Racing Package
Remember the ol' Hemi Dart and Barracuda "package" cars from 1968? Mopar does, so to fte the 40th anniversary, it's going to have a similar program for the '09 Challenger. For now, we know the limited-production run will feature a competition-ready Hemi and that the race-only parts will not be street-friendly, but will be NHRA-friendly. More info to come!

The cast-iron Aluminator. Kidding.>

Ford's New Aluminator Racing Crate Engines
Like the Mustang GT's 4.6L? That engine is the foundation for Ford's brand-new lines of all-aluminum blocks. The 281ci mill can make 700 hp and 550 lb-ft of torque. There's a Ford Racing supercharger as well as an '03-'04 SVT Cobra intake. Long- and short-blocks are available; short-blocks will start at $4,500.

You know a car won't last when a photo from a year ago looks circa 1982.>

Crown Vic Gets Dethroned
The Detroit Free Press has reported that Ford won't sell the Crown Vic to customers at retail anymore; dealers will push the Taurus and other models. But if you're set on a Vic, you'll need to get a new job, one that has a fleet, since that's what Ford will sell the car to in bulk now, like the government. You can still get a Lincoln Town Car or Mercury Grand Marquis, however.

'Good used Vics are available at police auctions. The '03-and-newer cars are the best. The Panther platform is probably the last body-on-frame, rear-drive American passenger car that will ever be made.

Feed me, Seymour.>

New Hemi Parts
Chrysler has intro'd a bunch of new stuff for the second-gen Hemi engine. A few of the offerings include an aluminum block (PN 5153864), a cast-iron (PN 4529898) and aluminum (PN 5153779) head, a 426 street Hemi intake manifold (PN 5153737), an aluminum race roller-rocker system (PN 5153782), and a single-plane intake manifold for large-displacement engines (PN 5153781). Stuff for the 5.7L and 6.1L Hemi includes an aluminum block (PN 5153897), 6.1L single-plane intake manifold, CNC-ported cylinder head (5.7L RH: PN 5153344, LH: PN 5153343; 6.1L RH: PN 5153350, LH: 5153349), and 5.7L dual-quad intake manifold (PN 5153556). Conversion kits for '04 model-year-or-earlier 5.7Ls are available.

By Tori Tellem
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